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California water district aims to save more than 4.4 billion gal of water
The Central Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors of Commerce, Calif., announced it adopted a new five-year Water Use Efficiency Master Plan (WUE) at its November meeting. The WUE is designed to save 32,443 acre-ft of water through a variety of cost-effective programs and measures, as well as an estimated $23 million in water purchases over the life of the program, which will end in 2016.
In developing the plan, analysis was conducted in the Central Basin service area to determine the areas where the largest uses of water occur, which programs provide the highest savings potential and which conservation programs are the most cost-effective.
The plan estimates that 68% of the estimated savings will be found in continuing the district's High Efficiency Toilet (HET) Programs. Over the past 15 years Central Basin has funded the installation of several thousand HETs, creating water savings of more than 3 billion gal of water annually, but there remain an estimated 515,000 units in the service area still using older non-efficient toilets. The plan outlines six separate programs to promote HETs to residents and businesses in the service area.
"The [WUE] provides a five-year guide to help our region save tremendous amounts of water by focusing on the programs and resources that bring the most benefit to our communities," said Art Aguilar, general manager for Central Basin. "This broader approach to water conservation helps our region to meet the state of California's goal of reducing water consumption by 2020."
In addition to the promotion of HETs, Central Basin will continue to promote water conservation programs, including providing weather-based irrigation controllers and programs for commercial and industrial water use.
In 2006, the board adopted a Conservation Master Plan that helped save more than 25,000 acre-ft of water. The new plan takes into account the California Department of Water Resources 20x2020 program, which requires a 20% reduction in water usage by the year 2020.
"We have been doing a great job with our conservation programs in Central Basin. The programs have never been more popular or widespread in the communities that we serve," Aguilar said. "We are confident that this new Water Use Efficiency Master Plan and its ambitious goals are well within the reach of Central Basin and our residents."
More information is available at www.centralbasin.org.